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What About Your Friends?

Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King are the O.G.’s of friendship goals. The veteran journalists met working at a Baltimore TV station in 1976 when Oprah was 22 and Gayle was 21. They eventually formed an unbreakable bond after being stuck in a snowstorm together. Oprah and Gayle spoke with PEOPLE about that time in their lives. "We ended up talking all night long," Oprah said. "We've literally been friends ever since."

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Our girlfriends are our chosen tribe. They pull us out of funks. They bring the wine when we've had a tough workday. They celebrate our babies and birthdays and new hairdos with the fervor of a winning football team. Our girlfriends don't fear telling us when we're wrong and they walk with us as we get it right. So, what happens when your girlfriends exhaust you with perpetually poor life decisions?

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It was probably around the end of 2017 when I really started deep-diving into what narcissism really is. A part of the reason why I did it was because I was counseling some people who seemed to reveal some telling signs of being one. Then, because I am definitely the exception and not the rule when it comes to not being on social media, I was finding more and more data to support that it is creating more narcissists than ever before. Jump ahead a couple of years and I actually had a close relative who said, “Of course, I'm a narcissist. My mother and father are narcissists.” Boy, did that start to connect some dots as it relates to narcissistic abuse within my family tree and when it came to some of the friends and even guys that I picked — because it really is true that until you know better, it’s hard to do better.

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If you’re looking back on 2021 like, “Where did the days go?" trust us when we say we are, too. As the holidays approach, it’s natural to become reflective and muse over the peaks and valleys, accomplishments, and tough lessons that the year threw your way—and for many of us, we didn’t do it alone. From the homegirls who helped us through breakups, to the long-distance sisterhoods held together by hours-long FaceTime calls. For the friends who always know what to say when you can’t seem to gather the words, and the ones who see you when you can’t see the greatness in yourself. What better way to say, “you deserve,” than with a thoughtful gift made for and by Black women.

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'Tis the season for holiday cheer, yet for many of us this joyous occasion can be overshadowed by the stress that comes along with finding the perfect gifts for the women in our lives. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, every year I become obsessed with choosing gifts that are special and useful in one's everyday life. Typically a last minute shopper, this year I'm getting a head start to avoid the ongoing shipping delays, "out of stock" notifications and even worse, the mad dash to the mall to pick over whatever's left of the holiday gift sets.

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My heart breaks for humanity knowing that we have succumbed to coexist in two worlds both offline and online. And what I mean by this is our unhealthy dependency on social media for human connection. I hate the way we need the 'gram to feel connected. And the thing is before COVID-19, a healthy balance existed between online presence and reality. Now, not so much. Since the pandemic, our reliance on social media has become our daily norm. A temporary solution instantly became a reality and still is a reality today. And I am not sure if things will ever be the same.

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